— ATLANTA (AP) — Robert Carter Jr. had 13 points and 11 rebounds Monday night in Georgia Tech's easy 75-41 win over Alabama State, and the freshman power forward's first career double-double came as no surprise to Hornets coach Lewis Jackson.
The 3-pointer the big guy stroked? Now, that was a bit different.
Alabama State (1-9) trailed just 13-10 after freshman Bobby Brown hit a 3-pointer with 12:03 left in the first half. But from there, the Yellow Jackets (7-2) scored the next nine points — including Carter's trey — in starting a 19-2 run en route to a 40-20 halftime lead that was never in danger.
"We knew we had a tall order coming in ... because at just about every position we were giving up size," the Alabama State coach said. "Carter can crash the boards, shoot it from outside, nice post moves. It was just a tough cover for us."
A few days ago, the 6-foot-8, 245-pound Carter lamented having made just 3 of 17 3-pointers because, "I'm known as a skilled (power forward)."
He hit the only trey he tried against the Hornets and made several other nifty plays as the Yellow Jackets moved to 5-0 in nearly new McCamish Pavilion on the strength of their power game and balance.
Georgia Tech had a 51-30 rebounding edge and a 40-10 advantage in points in the paint.
Carter had a hand in much of that on his way to career highs in rebounds and assists (three) while blocking two shots. "My daddy always preached to me if I want to be a great player, I have to do extra, do more things," he said after making 6 of 9 shots.
The Yellow Jackets had 20 assists, their most since Brian Gregory took over as coach before last season. This was also their biggest margin of victory under Gregory.
Guard Brandon Reed pitched in 14 points and four assists, and senior point guard Mfon Udofia had 12 points — all on 3-pointers — with four assists.
Brown and fellow freshman guard Jamel Waters each scored seven off the bench to lead the Hornets, but Alabama State shot just 25 percent (15 of 60), with its starters combining to go 6-for-32 (18.8 percent).
"I'm really pleased with our guys' effort tonight," said Gregory. "We came out with a sense of urgency, which will always lead to good things."
The Hornets have 10 players in their first season with the team, no player within 25 pounds of Carter and just a couple that played who were within 2 inches of his height. The Yellow Jackets have a couple of players taller than Carter.
One, 6-11½ center Daniel Miller, blocked five shots to go along with six points and five rebounds. The other, reserve forward Kam Holsey (6-8½), added 11 points and five rebounds.
Soon after the Yellow Jackets opened a 65-33 lead on a breakaway layup by Marcus Georges-Hunt off an Alabama State turnover, Gregory called time out with 6:52 left in the game.
He soon began deploying walk-ons, and even freshman point guard Solomon Poole, who joined the team Saturday about a week after graduating from North Florida Educational Institute in Jacksonville.
One of the nation's top high school prospects, Poole finished with two points off a pair of free throws banked off the backboard, two rebounds, an assist and three turnovers.
Poole's older brother, junior Stacey, will be eligible to play for Georgia Tech Saturday against The Citadel after sitting out a calendar year following his transfer last winter from Kentucky.
One of the biggest cheers went up with 4:20 left when freshman walk-on guard Brooks Doyle nailed a 3-pointer to give Georgia Tech a 72-39 lead.
Junior forward Jason Morris was not in uniform for Georgia Tech. He's struggling with a foot injury.
Gregory also said that freshman point guard Corey Heyward, the son of late former NFL running back Craig Heyward, who is redshirting after undergoing knee surgery last summer, had a second operation after reinjuring the repaired ligament "in an unsupervised workout."